Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Game Mechanics

Before you get the idea of a bunch of geeks in Cheeto-stained overalls, I'm polishing up mechanics for the game ideas I'm working on....and one of the things I'm working on is cinematic play...where the players are movers and shakers in the game's story.

One of the major mechanic ideas is the idea of genus-that which makes players something above the other characters in the story. Think of it like this-by working with the genus, you can add bonuses. For example, Aragorn gets into a bar fight. If he gets into a bar fight, for no other reason than to have a barfight, he only can roll his "brawling" skill. (For a note, stats are resolved by die size, and the number of "dots" in a skill is the number of dice you roll-the dice are D4, D6, D8, D10, D12, and D20.) But, if he gets into the bar fight to resolve his personal genus of "protecting my friends"-using the bar fight to help a friend get out of the bar without incident. If he succeeds in his first roll, he can gain a token (more on tokens in a second).

If, in helping his friend out-and his friend is Frodo whom has the One Ring needs to escape-and this is part of the campaign genus of "destroy the One Ring"-even if Aragon fails his roll, he gains a token.

Tokens are important...because you can use them in scenes. "Scenes" cover things like combat and role-playing. All tokens start out as white tokens (I'm thinking of plastic poker chips), which let you reroll one die per token, or spend any experience that you have currently on your character sheet to boost a skill that you currently have. You can exchange four of your white tokens for one blue token, to be given in the next scene (i.e. if you're in the role-playing section, you can't use your new blue token until combat), to give you another die to roll for your skill, use experience you have to start a new skill that you can use now, or force the GM to reroll one die per token.

What can you do with four blue tokens? Exchange them for a red token. This can let you get one automatic success, turn a fumble into a failure, let you buy up your stats at any time (and lets you buy past the D12 limit to D20 at any time, and not the "at the GM's discression" for the next game and beyond), and cause the GM to take a failure on a roll.

More on the game mechanics later...must write.

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